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'Sanghe Urab'- Injot's Program for Adivasi Youth Kicks Off in Guwahati

Sanghe Urab's residential phase kicked off at Don Bosco Youth Mission and Educational Services (DBI) in Guwahati on October 2.

Sanghe Urab- Injots Program for Adivasi Youth Kicks Off in Guwahati

Sentinel Digital Desk

GUWAHATI: "I don't think Adivasis are only successful because of reservations, and that we are not intellectual. Adivasi wisdom has been passed on from generations. Our traditional architecture is sustainable and exhibits thermal insulation along with aesthetics in the form of wall arts. I see women of our community as master architects and engineers. There is so much intellect in the community, then how can people only say our success is only based on reservations?", said youth participant John Kandulna, at Sanghe Urab 2022.

Kandulna was strongly contesting the notion of stereotypes associated with the Adivasi community during Sanghe Urab 2022 - a mentorship program for Adivasi youth of Assam organised by Injot Trust, a Guwahati- based not for profit organisation that works for the empowerment of the Adivasi community of Assam.

Sanghe Urab's residential phase kicked off at Don Bosco Youth Mission and Educational Services (DBI) in Guwahati on October 2. It is one of the first of its kind mentorship program specially designed for Adivasi youth of Assam during which participants experience a wide range of interactive sessions facilitated by experts from diverse fields - from IAS officers to Play for Peace practitioners, entrepreneurs and politicians to social development professionals, activists and journalists to educators, photo-essayists, authors and people from the corporate world.

The mentorship program is supported by State Bank of India as the Principal Sponsor. They supported the same program last year in 2021 where the residential phase was organised in Kaziranga, hoping to open possibilities for the Adivasi youth. Oil India Limited too has been a co-sponsor of Sanghe Urab.

"Sanghe Urab is not about hand-holding our Adivasi youth or to patronise them into choosing what we think is good for them, but to empower them to make informed choices for themselves and the community. We provide a bit of scaffolding for their journey of self-discovery by providing them with tools and exposures to diverse people and fields, that they can use to design a progressive path for themselves. We would love it if some of these youth decide to do something for the community and become active change makers, but we will be satisfied if they become successful and happy individuals, and live a life which inspires others," said Ms. Anjali Tirkey - the Founder Director of Injot Trust.

Sanghe Urab means 'Let's Fly Together' in Sadri language - the lingua franca of Adivasis in Assam. Injot designed this program using its three-fold approach of Heal, Educate, Empower. Some parts of the program are designed for the participants to access the emotions within them and to identify the needs that generate those emotions. At the same time, the participants explore how all these impact their behaviour and in turn become a part of their identity. A considerable part of the program focuses on the Adivasi identity of the participants and introduces them to the rich indigenous heritage, Adivasi movements and ancestral wisdom - at the heart of which is sustainability and co-existence with the natural world.

The residential part is the fourth phase of Sanghe Urab 2022. In the first three phases the participants took part in 12 online sessions which were designed around the themes of emotions, identity and community, Adivasi culture and heritage, and career goals and employability. In the fourth phase they will be introduced to the panorama of social justice, community building, leadership, enterprise and life vision.

Some participants reflected upon how they navigated an activity during a Play for Peace session. "During the activity I made sure that I spoke out what I wanted to in the beginning so that I don't feel like I did not speak my mind. At the same time, I figured that it is okay to follow other ideas that are better," said Junali Baskey - a young participant.

Injot founders Anjali Tirkey and Arindita Gogoi believe that this program will go on to build a strong community of Adivasi youth in Assam who can think critically, are more confident in their interactions with others and most importantly those who are reconnected to the Adivasi heritage and culture, and to the depth of Adivasi wisdom. The next four days of the residential phase, according to them, are going to be a thrilling yet grounding ride, for not just the participants but to all facilitators as well.

During the review of one of the assignments given during the online phase of Sanghe Urab on documenting the Adivasi heroes and sheroes whose exemplary contributions should be of national stature and also the unknown heroes who live in our amidst, often unacknowledged and yet silently contributing towards the betterment of the society, Asranti Bhengra felt that while doing the assignments, she discovered many Adivasi legends about whom she hardly knew before and she understood the value of documenting the life stories of those whose contribution and roles are unheard of.

Facilitators and speakers that the participants are about to meet in the next few days are Dr. JB Ekka IAS, Principal Secretary, Government of Assam, Anupchand Minj - lawyer and RTI expert, Wilfred Topno - Director of PAD and Founder of Adivasi Mahasabha, Agyat Mitra and Swati Bhatt - Play for Peace practitioners, Mr. Nazrul Islam IAS (Retd.) - expert par excellence on land matters in Assam, Keerthi Jhalli IAS, DC, Kamrup Rural, Dr. Sonali Ghosh IFS, Chief Conservator of Forests, Assam, Dr.Hippoletus Toppo - scholar and expert on Adivasi culture and heritage, Runa Rafique - farmer and livestock entrepreneur, Nabajit Bharali - State Project Manager, Skills and Placement at ASRLM, Government of Assam, and Bikram Kairi IAS - the first IAS officer from Barak valley.

Also read:Tension Returns along Assam-Mizoram Border over Construction of Huts by Assam Police

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